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Thread: To Sock or Not To Sock?

  1. #1
    pogen's Avatar
    pogen is offline Sailing canoe "Kūʻaupaʻa"
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    Default To Sock or Not To Sock?

    Hi All,

    I have an Olson 34 -- sym kite boat, medium displacement. I am still pretty new to single/shorthanded spin handling. Generally, we douse in a conventional matter, go deep, pole forward, raise the jib (esp. if windy), then either spike the guy or let it run, gather the foot under the boom, halyard down in a controlled manner. I have done it by myself a few times, too.

    However, several pretty knowledgeable sailors are suggesting strongly that I get a spin sock for shorthanding, especially for our upcoming PacCup DH run this summer. The benefits would be fast and easy douse when squalls hit, and even douse or semi-douse when jibing. The main drawback as I see it is complexity and the chance for things to get tangled aloft. Also my bias would be to keep things as simple as possible. But on the other hand I am not too happy of the idea of getting caught with the spin up when the wind jumps from 18 kts to 32 kts. The expense ($600) is also a negative.

    I'm told that Stan Honey on his Cal 40 uses a sock crewed even, and all sorts of TransPac crewed boats use them. When I look at our SSS fleet on the water, it seems like it's a pretty mixed bag.

    I'm trying to borrow one to try, but in the mean time what do you guys think?

    Thanks

    David

    PS After this we can talk about what folks think about twin pole setups.

  2. #2
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    Default you are at the edge...

    Hi David,

    I think you are at the edge of the sock. I would say that for anything over 35' you should have a sock as an option as there is a lot of material to gather. When I had my Ericson 30+ I initially tried the sock and quickly put it away. Had a ridiculous tangle on my retrieving line just entering back into Bonita on a breeze and some freaking tankers coming down and it was a disaster. I just wanted to get the damned thing down and couldn't. It also turned out that it was faster to just douse (as you described). You still have to go to the foredeck to deal with the sock, etc. When I did the SHTP I took the sock with me, just in case but never used it. For jibing frequently it might be useful and if you rig the lines to the sock to ensure they don't foul it might be ok. As I say, you are at the edge of where I think the benefit to pain threshold might make it worth it. But you will need to play with it some to ensure you have a good setup.

    dan

  3. #3
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    Default

    I checked the leech lengths on your PHRF certificate (44') and I don't have a sock that's long enough for you to try - my older ATN sock is 41'.

    In the 2006 SHTP I used it with longer, cockpit run up/down lines and it was pretty sweet, especially for those solo douses at 0200 in a squall - I didn't have to leave the cockpit.

    In the 2008 SHTP I used it with the more conventional foredeck up/down lines and it was a royal PITA. I haven't used it since (1,000+ sq. foot assymetric runner).

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    Default

    I've gone with and without socks on Sail a Vie. 75% of my trans pacs have been with. Never put one on the once and a half. Figure if it's that light I don't need one. Been right so far.
    Twin poles are awesome. Make jibing the spinnaker while the auto pilot is driving much easier and safe and a lot of times quicker
    Also great if your flying twins. Draw back is it means two foreguys and to topping lifts.

  5. #5
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    Default

    Oh and David, I have an ATN sock you can try. May be a bit short but that's ok it will give the idea. In my opinion you want them a little short if your using it to jibe. I have one that's long on my boat should work good on yours.

  6. #6
    pogen's Avatar
    pogen is offline Sailing canoe "Kūʻaupaʻa"
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    Default

    Thanks Phil, and you other guys for the input. I will have a chance to have a look at O-34 Razzberries sock tomorrow also.

    I have two full length poles, I thought to run twin poles I could use a spare halyard as a topper and it won't be hard to change the rigging of the foreguy, it is already split so you can control it from either side of the cabin-top -- I just need to rig each side to be independent and increase the purchase of each line as my overall purchase on the foreguy is now 2:1. I think. I also need to add a separate mast track car for the pole but, or make one that has 2 attachment points.


    I'm also thinking about running my #2 poled out, I have not been able to get the geometry right with the #1 with the sheet led to the standard fairlead which is pretty far inboard. I read somewhere that if you are going to put a jib on a pole to wing-on-wing you should have a separate guy-line to control the pole separate from the sheet, but I have never seen this done.

  7. #7
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    When I pole out a genoa, I run another sheet aft and under the lifelines. Also, I lark's head (slip knot) a sturdy loop through the clew ring and clip the pole into that (instead of directly onto the sheet), otherwise the pole slides aft and down the sheet.

    If it's light you'll need a topper on the whisker pole (but you really should have a kite up of course). I'm not a fan of any kind of guy, since in a good gust you can snap the pole. If you run one, run it from the tip of the pole, not the middle. I guess you'll be using a spinnaker pole with bridles as your whisker pole, so that may not be a problem.

    I'm too lazy to look, but I think there may be an article on Kame's website (PineappleSails.com) about gybing with two poles. Kame is speaking this Wednesday night on these very topics, BTW.
    Last edited by BobJ; 01-14-2012 at 10:34 AM.

  8. #8
    pogen's Avatar
    pogen is offline Sailing canoe "Kūʻaupaʻa"
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    Thanks, I plan to be there.

    This guy makes it look pretty easy without all these extra lines and bother. Not sure what all the big deal is about this singlehanding anyway!


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    Well, he forgot to switch the runners over for a starter. If the wind picks up we'll see how he likes hauling the busted rig back aboard, single-handed.

    Hey Mr. Can - look, no lifelines! (Sorry, couldn't resist.)

  10. #10
    pogen's Avatar
    pogen is offline Sailing canoe "Kūʻaupaʻa"
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    Good call Bob, I guess I missed that being blinded by the whiteness of the couches.

    And anyway only pussy-ass inferior sailors need or want lifelines.

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